1 Thursday, 8 November 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.31 p.m.
5 JUDGE KWON: Good afternoon, everyone. The hearing was delayed
6 due to technical difficulties. We will be sitting from 2.30 to 6.00.
7 Yes, Mr. Harvey.
8 MR. HARVEY: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. May I
9 introduce Ms. Ruby Haazen, who is an environmentalist, a law graduate, a
10 judo expert, and a sailing captain who's been assisting my team for the
11 last three months. Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
13 Yes, is there anything to raise? Otherwise, let's bring in the
14 next witness.
15 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE KWON: Good afternoon, sir.
18 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
19 JUDGE KWON: If you could take the solemn declaration.
20 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
21 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 WITNESS: RICHARD GRAY
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please make yourself comfortable.
24 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Excellencies. Good
1 afternoon to everybody.
2 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Colonel Gray.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to call up 1D05523 in
6 e-court, please.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Colonel Gray, did you provide the Defence a statement? Did you
9 answer their questions?
10 A. Yes, I did. It appears on the screen to my right.
11 Q. Thank you. Did you sign the statement as well?
12 A. Yes, I did. I believe it was in April of this year.
13 Q. Thank you. Is this statement accurate; i.e., does it accurately
14 reflect what you wanted to say?
15 A. Yes, it does, and I wouldn't change a word of it.
16 Q. Thank you. So if I were to put the same questions to you today
17 here in the courtroom, your answers would be the same, wouldn't they?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I would like to
21 tender the 92 ter package into evidence.
22 JUDGE KWON: Any objections?
23 MR. COSTI: No, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
25 We'll admit the 92 ter statement.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter number 1D5523 will be
2 Exhibit D2398.
3 JUDGE KWON: I come to the issue of the associated exhibits after
4 you will have read out the summary of Mr. Gray's evidence for the public.
5 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I am going to read a
7 summary in English.
8 [In English] Colonel Richard Gray of New Zealand served as chief
9 operations officer for the United Nations Military Observers programme in
10 Sarajevo from April 1992 and senior military observer for Sector Sarajevo
11 from June 11th, 1992, to September 20th, 1992.
12 While in Sarajevo, he worked in United Nations Sarajevo Sector
13 headquarters in the PTT building. He became aware that the
14 Bosnian Muslim army used the workshop in the basement of the PTT building
15 to manufacture and repair weapons. Colonel Gray stated that Army of BH
16 snipers fired at the UN personnel at the PTT building from other
17 buildings nearby, including the student hostel building. The
18 United Nations made written protests to the Bosnian government about
19 this. He was personally fired upon by the Bosnian government side on
20 many occasions.
21 Colonel Gray was also aware that the BH army also fired mortars
22 from the immediate vicinity of the Kosevo hospital towards the
23 Bosnian Serb positions in an attempt to draw return fire against a
24 civilian facility. This was part of the overall strategy of the Bosnian
25 government to obtain international intervention on their side of the
1 civil war. He personally observed that the BH army parked the APCs just
2 to the rear of the hospital under some trees.
3 Colonel Gray also observed two BH army tanks parked 30 metres
4 from the PTT building. They were deliberately using the UN headquarters
5 as a shield from being attacked by the Bosnian Serbs. The BH army also
6 had mobile mortars mounted in vehicles which they would drive to a
7 position and fire towards Bosnian Serb positions.
8 On July the 13th, 1992, mortars were fired at the PTT building
9 killing and wounding a number of young people who were gathered nearby
10 while the Canadian soldiers were throwing candy to them from the roof of
11 the building. Colonel Gray believes that these mortars were fired by the
12 BH army. Colonel Gray relates that it become routine for Bosnian
13 government forces to shell their own area around the Presidency building
14 whenever a foreign dignitary arrived. This occurred on
15 17th of July, 1992, when British foreign secretary Douglas Hurd visited
16 the Presidency. On this occasion, ten bystanders were killed or wounded.
17 Colonel Gray was present during this event and actually witnessed the
18 mortar bombs exploding. He heard the primary charge from the mortar go
19 off when he was in front of the Presidency. The mortars were fired from
20 no more than 200 metres away. The mortar bombs had to come from the
21 Presidency side.
22 From his observations and experience in Sarajevo, Colonel Gray is
23 convinced that the killing of their own citizens was also part of the
24 strategy of the Bosnian government to obtain international intervention
25 on their side of the civil war. Colonel Gray employed a group of
1 translators from all ethnic backgrounds to translate the news being
2 broadcasted on Sarajevo television as well as on the radio and in printed
3 media. The news broadcasted on the Sarajevo television station contained
4 inflammatory propaganda from the Bosnian government side against the
5 Bosnian Serbs. He believed that the Bosnian government was using the TV
6 station as a weapon of war and that it was a legitimate military target
7 when shelled by the Bosnian Serbs.
8 On 30th of June, 1992, pursuant to an agreement for the
9 concentration of heavy weapons signed by Professor Koljevic, he
10 developed [sic] half of the military observers, 30 of them, to the Serb
11 side and the remaining observers, 30 of them, were deployed to the next
12 day. While engaged in this assignment, he and his men were shot at by
13 the Bosnian government side. Five UN personnel were wounded in the
15 In August 1992, Colonel Gray had one meeting with Dr. Karadzic
16 and two with Mladic. These meetings were directed at reaching an
17 agreement of the concentration of all heavy weapons in and around
18 Sarajevo. Karadzic was the senior figure of the two. Karadzic did the
19 talking but deferred to Mladic concerning matters of military
20 practicality and the military realities. Colonel Gray found Dr. Karadzic
21 to be sincerely interested in stopping the fighting in Sarajevo and in
22 avoiding civilian casualties while the war was going on. Dr. Karadzic
23 allowed Colonel Gray to visit and speak with the commanders on artillery
24 and mortar positions thus far not under UN observation.
25 General Mladic's diary accurately records Colonel Gray saying --
1 as saying at a meeting on August the 18th, 1992, that the Serbs had not
2 initiated fire but returned fire for the past two months and that the
3 Muslims were seeking international intervention and killing their own
4 people. Even after the signing of the August 1992 agreement, the Bosnian
5 government continued to provoke incidents in Sarajevo.
6 On August 25th, 1992, the Bosnian government side shot and killed a
7 member of the Ukrainian Battalion at the Marsal Tito barracks.
8 General Nambiar sent a protest letter to President Izetbegovic.
9 On September the 9th, 1992, the Muslims attacked a UN
10 humanitarian convoy in the area of the Sarajevo airport killing two
11 French soldiers. General Nambiar sent a protest letter to
12 President Izetbegovic. He also protested the wounding of five UNMOs who
13 were stationed at Serb artillery positions which had not opened fire.
14 On 3rd of December, 1992, a UN board of inquiry concluded that
15 the Muslims were responsible for the attack on the French Battalion in
16 September 1992 which killed two French soldiers and had failed to punish
17 those responsible for the attack. Colonel Gray toured the Bosnian Serb
18 military positions around Sarajevo. They had a huge amount of heavy
19 artillery around the city but were outnumbered by the Bosnian government
20 forces. They used artillery as a way to defend their positions and to
21 disrupt the Bosnian government forces inside Sarajevo. Colonel Gray
22 believes that this was a legitimate military tactic so long as the
23 artillery was not employed to deliberately target civilians or to engage
24 in the disproportionate use of force.
25 Colonel Gray believes that there were occasions when the
1 Bosnian Serbs deliberately fired upon civilians in Sarajevo and used
2 disproportionate force with their artillery in response to Bosnian
3 government attacks.
4 The indiscriminate and disproportionate targeting of civilians by
5 the Bosnian Serbs seemed random to him as opposed to a deliberate policy.
6 With respect to sniping, virtually everyone in the former Yugoslavia had
7 access to weapons and it was impossible to determine whether the sniping
8 of civilians was the result of orders or people acting on their own
9 initiative in a civil war.
10 [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, at the moment I don't have
11 any questions for this witness, so I would like to hand over to the
13 JUDGE KWON: Let us deal with the associated exhibits. First,
14 you are tendering the excerpt of the book by General MacKenzie:
15 "Peace Keeper."
16 Mr. Robinson, given that the relevant portion is fully cited in
17 para 30, I don't think it's necessary or relevant to admit that book.
18 MR. ROBINSON: Very well, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE KWON: Are there any objections, Mr. Costi, in relation to
20 the remaining documents?
21 MR. COSTI: No, Your Honours.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson, I'll just refer to the 65 ter numbers,
24 1D4891 and 1D5033. Given that the relevant portion is cited in their
25 relevant paragraphs, I'm not sure whether they are necessary or relevant
1 to this case.
2 MR. ROBINSON: Well, Mr. President, I think that you're applying
3 a different standard than you did to the Prosecution. It's one thing for
4 a witness to say, I received this commendation, but it's another thing
5 for you to see it and have him corroborate his statement. So with those,
6 I stand by our request that those be admitted as associated exhibits and
7 I don't see any -- I can't recall any instance in which a Prosecution
8 document which had been referred to by the witness was excluded for the
9 reason that it was duplicative.
10 JUDGE KWON: No, I didn't mean that they are duplicative, but the
11 Chamber was just simply wondering if they are relevant to this case. I
12 will consult my colleagues.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber will receive them.
15 The numbers will be given in due course.
16 Mr. -- Colonel Gray, as you have noted, now that your evidence in
17 chief had been admitted in the form of writing in lieu of your oral
18 testimony, now you will be further cross-examined by the Prosecution
20 Yes, Mr. Costi.
21 MR. COSTI: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon, everyone
22 in the courtroom.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Costi:
24 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Gray. First of all, I want to thank you for
25 agreeing to meet with the Prosecution, with myself and a colleague of
1 mine, yesterday afternoon in the presence of Mr. Robinson. Second, I
2 want to remind you, although you've already testified before this Court,
3 that we have translation, simultaneous translation, going on. So you
4 need to make the maximum effort to speak slowly and to pause between
5 question and answers. So if you keep an eye on the record in front of
6 you, you will realise when the typing is finished it's time for you to
7 answer the question.
8 First of all, I would like to touch upon some of the issues that
9 we discussed yesterday afternoon. Paragraph 22 of your statement you
10 said that:
11 "Indiscriminate and disproportionate targeting of civilians by
12 the Bosnian Serbs seemed random to me."
13 And as you might recall we discussed yesterday because I asked
14 you to explain me what did you mean by "random." And you told me that by
15 "random" you meant that it was not a concerted effort to destroy a
16 particular object, a particular target; is that correct?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, when you were explaining this "random" concept,
19 you said that by contrast there were incidents where it was clear that
20 the Serb forces were targeting a specific object. And you gave a few
21 examples. And first of all, you mentioned the national library; isn't it
23 A. Yes, that's true.
24 Q. Second, you mentioned the deliberate targeting of the gas
25 bottling plant that supplies gas bottle -- bottled propane for the city.
1 Is it correct?
2 A. That is correct. It was the main gas bottling plant. People
3 went there to get the propane to cook with --
4 Q. Yeah --
5 A. -- and, yes, it was deliberately targeted.
6 Q. And you saw it yourself?
7 A. I saw it from the roof of the PTT and it was at night and it was
8 like Guy Fawkes night.
9 Q. And when talking about this incident you said that it was done to
10 bring the civilian population to its knees. It was part of a sort of a
11 psychological warfare; is that correct?
12 A. That is correct. The national library as an icon in the city and
13 with so much history was done deliberately to reduce morale, I would
14 think. I mean, that was my own opinion.
15 Q. Sure.
16 A. And in the same way that targeting the gas bottling plant, it was
17 designed to reduce morale as well so that -- I mean, people had to start
18 cutting down trees to actually cook.
19 Q. Thank you. And you also mentioned that the electricity in
20 Sarajevo was going on and off. And if I'm not wrong you said it was like
21 somebody was playing with the switch, and you said it was part of the
22 same strategy.
23 A. I didn't honestly know who controlled the electricity supply, but
24 it was -- it was extremely annoying for everybody, not only the UN
25 headquarters because we relied on -- obviously on electricity for our
1 radios and various other pieces of equipment, facsimile machines and so
2 on and so forth. So when the power went off usually the telephone lines
3 also went dead because they have a small supply of electricity going
4 through them. So it was hugely annoying. For the civilian population it
5 was obviously far more severe.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, I would like to move to another topic.
7 MR. COSTI: Can we have 65 ter number 1D04892, please.
8 Q. Now, you will see up here on your screen one document that it was
9 shown to you by the Defence and that you comment upon in your statement
10 and your comment is at paragraph 35. It's -- it is one -- I'm sorry --
11 yeah, here we are. This is part of one article that was published in the
12 New York Times on the 31st of July, 1992. And you are quoted
13 saying - and you see in the third paragraph, if I'm not wrong, third
14 paragraph --
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. It says:
17 "'They could destroy the whole city,' the Colonel said, 'they
18 have enough firepower out there to flatten the city 10 times over, but
19 they don't want to.'
20 "And then he added," and it's again referred to you, "that he had
21 spoken with Serbian troops at the hillside gun positions." And it is a
22 quotation again, "'They don't want a war.'"
23 Is it accurate -- accurate record of what you said?
24 A. The media often will take poetic licence, and I certainly was
25 never interviewed by this particular person who wrote this article. And
1 so it may have been -- my comments may have been taken out of context
2 which happened to me quite a few times in the course of my duty with the
3 UN and which for me was intensely annoying because comments would -- that
4 the newspaper columnist or whoever will take a little bit here and a
5 little bit there and string them together and miss out the bit in between
6 which actually connects them together. So I don't believe that is -- the
7 comment about they could flatten the city ten times over is totally
8 correct and I will stand by that because I -- I saw the weapons with my
9 own eyes and some of whom were manned by boys and old men. That may have
10 been a point where I said they don't want a war because they weren't
11 professional JNA troops and a lot of weapons I saw --sorry.
12 Q. You -- you were talking about context. This is -- this is --
13 this is important.
14 MR. COSTI: Can we please have 65 ter 24058.
15 Q. Now, you will see appear on the screen the full article. Now,
16 attached to your statement that is only the page that we just discussed,
17 but, in fact, that was only the second page of the article. I still
18 don't see it on the screen.
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 JUDGE KWON: I'm being told that it hasn't been released yet.
21 MR. COSTI: Let me consult with my Case Manager.
22 [Prosecution counsel confer]
23 MR. COSTI: Apparently we have some technical issues, so it's not
24 a perfect day for technicalities.
25 Q. So let me move on to another topic and then we get back to this
1 one. Now at paragraph 34 of your statement you -- you talk about this
2 meeting, that was also mentioned by Mr. Karadzic this morning -- right
3 now in this summary on the 18th of August. And at paragraph 34 you
4 are -- you confirm that it is accurate what you are reported to have said
5 in the Mladic diary, meaning that the Serbs had not initiated fire in the
6 past two months, in the prior two months.
7 Now, you met with Mr. Siber, the deputy -- the deputy commander
8 of the ABiH, didn't you?
9 A. Correct.
10 MR. COSTI: Can we have 65 ter 24037A. Okay. We do have this
12 Q. Now, Siber kept a diary and he published then a book which is
13 called "War Diaries," and this is an extract from that book. And the
14 entry for the 29th of July reads as the following and I'm reading for the
16 "Karic and I meet with Colonel Gray again. I can see that the
17 good man, Colonel Gray, find himself caught in the middle. The aggressor
18 Serbs are lying to him, they are deceiving him, which me admits, and at
19 one moment he says," and you said, "'I know they are lying when they say
20 they are only returning fire. We can see that and we report on that.'"
21 And then he continues.
22 On the one hand we have the Mladic diary that suggested he was
23 said that they never returned fire in the period of time, and on the
24 other you have this record of this meeting where you are reported to
25 having said, No, I knew that they were firing not in return. So my
1 question for you is: Do you stand with the proposition that you are --
2 that in the two months prior to the 18th of August they never returned
3 fire -- sorry, they only returned fire?
4 A. I make the point to start off with that this is the first time
5 I've seen this. I've never seen this before, and I wasn't aware that --
6 my dealings with Colonel Siber were extremely difficult. And I wasn't
7 aware he was keeping a diary just as he probably wasn't aware I was
8 keeping a diary. But we -- I stand by my statement here, and there is an
9 inaccuracy in what General Mladic recorded. The very last line I think
10 it says that I will be giving 200 observers to implement the third
11 agreement. That is wrong. That is a bit of poetry there. I never said
12 200 observers. I mentioned a figure of 100. In fact, my plan required
13 105 military observers. Once I had toured all the gun positions both in
14 Sarajevo and around Sarajevo -- but Colonel Siber was an extremely
15 difficult person to deal with, understandably, because he was doing his
16 very best for the Presidency forces as was Professor Koljevic for the
17 Serb forces. And one thing that Colonel Siber is totally correct on is,
18 yes, I was caught right in the middle. And I -- but I -- to lend a
19 little bit of credence to my comment to General Mladic, I -- we found it
20 very hard to determine who was firing first. And besides the initial
21 five weapon concentration areas for the Presidency and the five weapon
22 concentration areas for the Serbs, when it was not clear who was firing
23 first and who was firing back, I went and I established observation posts
24 which were not part of the agreement; they're what I did to determine who
25 fired first and who fired back. And that is -- and after a period of
1 experience by my military observers, they could -- and the positioning of
2 the observation posts, they could quite accurately tell who fired first
3 and then who fired back.
4 Q. But --
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would be grateful if a pause
6 could be made between question and answer. Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
8 MR. COSTI:
9 Q. It's partly my fault.
10 So if I properly understand what you said, it was extremely
11 difficult to establish who fired first? So is it correct that you cannot
12 say hundred per cent for sure that in these two months the Serbs only
13 returned fire?
14 A. You are correct. I -- a hundred per cent, no, but 85 per cent,
15 pretty good.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, in any event let's talk about return fire. And
17 if we look at the fire that was going out of the city from the ABiH
18 forces and the fire going into the city from the Serb side, inside --
19 from the Serb side around the city into the city, the fire response was a
20 lot heavier; is that correct?
21 A. That is very correct, yes.
22 Q. And it was disproportionate?
23 A. Yes, it was. It was -- if I can -- it was a matter of who had
24 the most weapons and the most ammunition, and it was clearly that the
25 Serbs had more weapons and more ammunition, and so - and I think I
1 mentioned this to you yesterday - the -- if the ABiH were to fire, say,
2 six mortar rounds out of the city into Serb positions, the Serbs may well
3 fire back 30, 40, or 50 rounds. And so it was -- it wasn't six for six.
4 It was disproportionate and that's what I called disproportionate.
5 Q. Thank you. Now - and this brings me to probably the last issue
6 unless we are capable to go back to the one that we abandoned before - at
7 paragraph 13 of your statement you talk about this incident that took
8 place on the 13th of July when several rounds of mortar hit the PTT
9 building and in particular they killed a group of teenagers that were
10 gathered there on the street. And you said that you ran to try to save
11 them, but -- but -- but unfortunately one young teenage girl died. Isn't
12 it true, Mr. Gray, though that at that time you could not determine the
13 source of the fire?
14 A. It was extremely hard to determine. I had -- I had artillery and
15 mortar officers who were working for me who were experts in crater
16 analysis, and because of the irregular front line, it wasn't just a
17 straight line, I mean it went around suburbs and so on and so forth. We
18 knew basically who was on which side of the line. But when my artillery
19 and my mortar officer -- my mortar officer particularly because there
20 were 82-millimetre mortars and the closest one to the PTT building landed
21 2 metres away or 6 feet. And they did an examination of the mortar
22 craters and using their compass and the technology that we had available
23 to us and their experience they drew a line from where the mortar rounds
24 impacted and from the direction that those mortars must have come from.
25 And it -- my recollection is that it went through Bosnian -- Muslim
1 position, then through a Serb-controlled area, into a Bosnian area, then
2 into a Serb area. And they drew the line to the full extent of that --
3 that weapon is able to fire from.
4 Q. So it is correct that you could not establish the source of the
6 A. We could not, but the -- I'm sorry, the accuracy with which those
7 bombs landed, we determined meant that it was more likely that they had
8 been fired from a shorter range rather than a longer range. And also,
9 where the -- where the teenagers were at the very base of the PTT
10 building, directly opposite in terms of geography, directly opposite the
11 PTT building, there are apartment blocks which are quite high. So in
12 order to actually observe those teenagers getting candy from the
13 Canadians, you would be actually have to be able to see them at the base
14 of the building. And it was our assessment that there was no Serb
15 position that where they would have line of sight to actually see those
16 teenagers at the base of the PTT.
17 MR. COSTI: Can I please have 65 ter number 23053.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Gray, this is -- I don't know if it has appeared already
19 on your screen. I need page -- I need page 14 --
20 JUDGE KWON: Not released again, Mr. Costi?
21 MR. COSTI: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
22 They told me I can go back to the other issue and meanwhile --
23 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
24 MR. COSTI:
25 Q. So we pause on this again and we were discussing about this
1 "New York Times" article and I was asking 65 ter 24058. Now, as I was
2 saying this is the -- yeah. This is the first part of the article that
3 you were shown by the Defence. Have you ever seen this document before?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Okay. So this is the context. If you go to the fifth paragraph
6 from the bottom, the one that starts with "on Wednesday," you will see
7 that it says:
8 "On Wednesday night, the night sky over Sarajevo was lighted up
9 by the heaviest shelling in weeks, so intense that residents returned
10 anew to their basement bunkers where they had sheltered at an earlier
11 stages of the siege."
12 Do you recall this circumstance?
13 A. I don't -- I'm sorry, I don't see that on the screen.
14 Q. I'm sorry.
15 A. I'm sorry.
16 Q. It's "on Wednesday" -- if you count from the bottom --
17 A. Oh, all right.
18 Q. -- it's the fifth paragraph.
19 A. What date was that?
20 Q. It must have been the 29th of July because the article was on the
21 31st, which is a Friday -- which was a Friday, so the Wednesday must have
22 been a 29th.
23 A. I don't recall that. I mean the two heaviest days of shelling
24 and fighting were -- the first one was on the 14th of May and the second
25 one was on the 8th of June, and thereafter that it was, I would call it,
2 Q. And if we go -- if you look at the last paragraph and when they
3 start halfway through the last paragraph, it says:
4 "... the overnight fighting was followed by an unusual alarm
5 Thursday when the UN forces closed Sarajevo airport to the month-old
6 relief airlift when pilots of incoming planes reported that they had
7 detected Serbian radar in the hills around Sarajevo ..."
8 If we can now switch to the next page, just realising that the
9 second page properly -- yes, it is here. Perfect:
10 "According to the United Nations, this violated the agreement
11 under which the airport was reported ..."
12 And then a little bit further down:
13 "The incident caused new concern about Serbian intentions, but
14 the New Zealander who is overseeing the radar operation,
15 Colonel Richard Gray, argued vigorously with reporters over the
16 responsibility of the Serbian forces for the continued fighting."
17 And then there are these two passages that we discussed before --
18 A. Yeah.
19 Q. -- and that you discuss in your statement. So there was a
20 general concern and a UN concern for the intention of the Serbs after a
21 massive shelling that night and a violation of the open agreement, but
22 still it appears that you vigorously argued that they did not want war?
23 A. The radars that you're talking about we were fairly certain were
24 operated by Croatians and -- because the planes had to go over Croatian
25 territory on their approach path to Sarajevo airport, and an Italian
1 transport plane was actually shot down, it was a plane immediately after
2 my one, and I was in an RAF transport plane which had all magic black
3 boxes and things and could tell when it was locked onto by radar. And
4 there was a lot of excitement in my aircraft that I was in when the RAF
5 plane said, We've just been locked onto by radar and this was when we
6 were miles out from the actual Sarajevo airport, clearly over Croatian
7 territory. And the Italian plane which was immediately -- it was three
8 minutes behind us in the landing cycle, that was shot down.
9 Q. This happened at the beginning of September, though --
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. The -- we are talking about the end of July, and what I'm asking
12 you is whether even if light of what happened that night and the general
13 concern that you have read in the first page of the article, you argued
14 and maintained that Bosnian Serbs wanted peace. Is this a
15 misrepresentation of your thought?
16 A. I think it is. I think it is. I mean, it's a -- as I said
17 before -- I mean, I hadn't seen this before, and I mean how people can
18 put such interpretations in the "New York Times" or -- I mean, I've never
19 seen these articles before. And as I say, I mean, I know even from the
20 New Zealand print media I was misreported on several occasions where they
21 took things -- comments I made out of context and they didn't put in the
22 piece -- the essential part for me and my integrity which actually
23 connects the two statements together.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly pause between questions and answers.
25 Thank you.
1 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry.
2 MR. COSTI:
3 Q. No, it's me. I keep making mistakes. I'm sorry. I apologise.
4 MR. COSTI: Just let me check whether I can go back to the
5 other --
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 MR. COSTI:
8 Q. So I'm sorry for this going back and forth. So we were talking
9 about the incident of the 13th of July, and I asked 65 ter number 23053.
10 And this -- yeah, if we go to page 14 and actually one more -- sorry,
11 there was -- one page further. Excellent.
12 Now, this is military info summary and it is the number 10 from
13 the 8th of July, the 15th of July. And if you look in paragraph 2 I
14 believe it is discussing the incident we are talking about, and the
15 conclusion at the paragraph is:
16 "The mortar attack appears to have come from a southerly
17 direction; however, the region has not been confirmed."
18 A. That's correct. We couldn't determine because we -- as I said
19 before -- sorry, am I going too fast? As I said before, when my mortar
20 officer and my telegraph officer examined the craters and they drew a
21 line with their compass on the map and they drew it on the map where the
22 front line was. As I said, if you took it out to the furthest extent of
23 the range of that particular weapon, it crossed from one to the other to
24 the other, and we couldn't clearly say who fired it. But I also go back
25 to the point that to actually have line of sight to these poor teenagers
1 would have been extremely hard for the Serb side. But having said that,
2 we did not make a judgement call on it at the time.
3 Q. And you cannot make it now either?
4 A. No, no, I can't.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gray. This would end my cross-examination.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, do you have any re-examination?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very briefly I hope,
8 Your Excellency.
9 Could we please see 1D6200 on the screen. 1D6200.
10 JUDGE KWON: Very well. I was told that it was not uploaded or
11 released, Mr. Karadzic.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I believe we have done
13 everything that was necessary, but perhaps it could be placed on the ELMO
14 in that case.
15 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Shall we activate the ELMO.
16 MR. ROBINSON: I'm told it's released now, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
18 Not necessary, we can then upload it on the e-court.
19 Yes, I see it now.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We don't need two in English. We
21 can't see the Serbian version -- oh, there it is. Thank you.
22 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel Gray, I would like to show you a report
24 now, or rather, letter from General MacKenzie to Nambiar and to Goulding
25 to General Nambiar and Mr. Goulding in New York. We have the entire
1 document before us, but there are only a few sentences I would like to
2 read out. Please have a look at paragraph 2, sentence 2:
3 [In English] "The attitude of the people on the Presidency side
4 was very negative and those have been a number of incidents with our
5 personnel being threatened in the performance of their duties."
6 [Interpretation] And then I would like to read out the beginning
7 of paragraph number 3:
8 [In English] "My conversation yesterday has convinced me once and
9 for all that the President will only accept intervention or death for
10 'his' people as a final solution (his words)."
11 MR. COSTI: I'm sorry.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes [overlapping speakers]
13 MR. COSTI: [Overlapping speakers] I'm just concerned I don't --
14 I don't know why -- where did this arise from my cross-examination? And
15 this seems to be a matter that we didn't deal with.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But I haven't even put my question
17 to the witness yet.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I'll -- we'll hear your question.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. And now the last sentence in paragraph 3:
22 [In English] "He indicated that if the international community
23 was not prepared to intervene, that he was prepared to 'die twice,'
24 rather than deal with the 'aggressor.'"
25 THE ACCUSED: May we have the second page, please, second
1 paragraphs, "the shelling":
2 "The shelling has reduced considerably in Sarajevo, but the
3 Presidency continues to perpetuate the myth that the city is being
4 bombarded. This is not the case; however, it is the version of a man who
5 expects international military help."
6 JUDGE KWON: [Overlapping speakers]
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Colonel --
9 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, keep in mind that you are not supposed
10 to put leading questions, and before putting the question tell us how it
11 arises from what part of the cross-examination.
12 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, I can do that. It arises
13 basically from three parts of the cross-examination.
14 First of all, the issue of who started the fighting or who
15 initiated the fighting, which is reflected in the diary of Mr. Siber as
16 well as the statement of -- made to General Mladic. So that's an issue
17 that was raised.
18 Who wanted the war. That was raised by the article, the news
19 article, that was put to the witness in the "New York Times."
20 And then who was responsible for the PTT shelling and what motive
21 would the Presidency side have for shelling its own people. This goes
22 directly to those three issues.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any observation, Mr. Costi?
25 MR. COSTI: Your Honour, while we did discuss the shelling and to
1 that regard it's very appropriate to ask a question; we didn't touch upon
2 any motive or -- by the Bosnians to draw fire to kill their own people.
3 This wasn't touched in any -- in any way during my cross-examination.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber will allow the question to be put to the
7 No leading question.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Colonel, with regard to the contents of this letter of the
11 14th of July, written by General MacKenzie, how does this letter tally
12 with what you yourself experienced and with the information that was
13 available to you?
14 A. It does to a large degree tally with what I personally observed
15 in the visit by Douglas Hurd was -- I mean, I had been in Sarajevo since
16 the 10th of April and I had my own suspicions for a long time, but the
17 Douglas Hurd incident confirmed it for me beyond any doubt whatsoever
18 that the Presidency forces were killing their own people for the media.
19 When the Douglas Hurd incident happened, as has already been stated, I
20 was standing on the front steps of the Presidency building no more than a
21 hundred metres away from where the mortar bombs landed. There was a
22 guard of honour which I believe was in my statement mounted by Bosnian
23 police which lined one side of the road. There had been a disconnect in
24 timings with Douglas Hurd. He had a meeting at the airport with
25 Professor Koljevic first, then had a meeting at the PTT building, and I
1 waited for him at the Presidency building for him to finish that meeting.
2 Both sides were never given the full detail of timings or
3 locations when a dignitary was visiting, to try and avoid what actually
4 did happen. And usually what happened was that when the dignitary was in
5 the Presidency building conducting his meeting with
6 President Izetbegovic, then mortar bombs would land outside -- directly
7 outside the Presidency building and that happened in all the cases where
8 I attended with the dignitary, whether it was Douglas Hurd, Carrington,
9 Goulding, or whoever. And it was a rather flippant comment that I made
10 to General MacKenzie prior to going to the Presidency that would
11 General MacKenzie want to bet on when the mortar bombs would land and he
12 said to me in person, No, Richard, I won't. We know they're going to
13 land. It is just a matter of when.
14 Now, the honour guard of the Bosnian police moved away from the
15 impact area prior to the mortar bombs landing. I had been talking to two
16 ABiH officers on the front steps and they looked at their watch and they
17 moved inside the Presidency building and closed the door behind them,
18 leaving me standing by myself on the front steps and then the mortar
19 bombs landed because the people who fired them had stuck to the original
20 timings that they'd been told to fire those mortar bombs. And an
21 ambulance appeared on the scene almost immediately and there were camera
22 crews on the scene almost immediately to record the poor, wounded, and
23 dead people. And that one incident proved beyond all possible doubt that
24 the Presidency were killing their own people for the sake of the media,
25 and I stand by that.
1 Can I please add, I reported this -- I reported this to
2 General MacKenzie and that -- and that was when he -- it was an internal
3 thing and I didn't talk to the media about this, and it was
4 General MacKenzie who then spoke to the media about it and that's --
5 shortly after that, he gave up his command of the UN headquarters in
6 Sarajevo and left.
7 Q. Thank you, Colonel, sir.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions for the
9 witness. I would like to tender this document into evidence.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, this will be admitted.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D2411, Your Honours.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Gray. The Chamber has a question for you.
14 Judge Baird will put a question to you.
15 Questioned by the Court:
16 JUDGE BAIRD: Colonel, I would like to direct your mind back to
17 the "Times" article and the reference that you argued and maintained that
18 the Bosnian Serbs wanted peace, and you said this was a misrepresentation
19 of your thought; is this correct? Am I correct there?
20 A. Yes. I mean, I had never seen this article. I mean, I was in
21 the middle of a war and I wasn't even aware of this article until I came
22 here. And as I've said before, I have been misrepresented as saying
23 things in my -- in the New Zealand media, my own media, if you like, and
24 I know that I've been misrepresented in other media -- I mean, I was
25 accused of being a war criminal myself and -- when I was in New York in
1 1993 by a tabloid press which was totally fatuous and totally untrue.
2 And that is the sort of undue attention that UN officers who are just
3 trying to do the very best that they could were treated like. I just go
4 back to what I said before, that some of these comments are taken out of
5 context and I certainly couldn't be attributed to saying some of these
6 things. It's just someone making it up.
7 JUDGE BAIRD: I see. Thank you very much indeed.
8 JUDGE KWON: Judge Morrison.
9 JUDGE MORRISON: Colonel, in respect of return fire - and you
10 gave an example of perhaps the Bosnian forces firing six rounds, six
11 mortar rounds, and receiving 10, 20, 30, or more rounds in return and you
12 describe that as disproportionate - plainly it would be disproportionate
13 simply in numerical terms. Sometimes, however, in a military situation
14 it might be necessary to neutralise a fire base by putting in a great
15 deal of fire. Is that something you would consider a legitimate -- from
16 your military experience a legitimate tactic?
17 A. Yes, it is. In this particular situation I made reference in my
18 statement that it wasn't a conventional war. It was a horrible civil
19 war. And I had my military observers witness - and there are also other
20 officers who witnessed it from the car-park at the Kosevo hospital right
21 in front of the Kosevo hospital - where these mobile mortars that the
22 Presidency had, they were in the back of a red van, one particular one,
23 and they would go to the car-park and they'd fire off some mortar bombs
24 from there and then they would move away, trying to draw fire against a
25 hospital, which I couldn't countenance. But they did this around the
1 city, not just from the hospital. They did it in other areas where --
2 which were clearly civilian areas. And the military reason for that was
3 that they were mobile. They couldn't -- counter battery fire probably
4 would not be able to get them, and they would have gone by the time any
5 counter battery fire was directed at the source of the firing from the
6 Presidency forces. So it was that -- so it wasn't a conventional war
7 where you have a battery of mortars firing and then you have counter
8 battery fire which is a traditional way of fighting a war. This was very
10 JUDGE MORRISON: And just a supplementary question. How close to
11 the mobile mortars that you described did you get in terms of physical
13 A. The -- my observers who actually saw this, the one, for instance,
14 at the hospital car-park, the person who observed that being fired was no
15 more than 20 metres away, and their roof was cut in -- I mean, a hole was
16 cut in the roof of the van and from the side you -- it looked like an
17 ordinary van, but then a mortar bomb would come out of this hole in the
19 JUDGE MORRISON: Thank you very much.
20 JUDGE KWON: Well, Colonel, that concludes your evidence. On
21 behalf of the Chamber, I would like to thank you for your coming to
22 The Hague to give it. Now you are free to go.
23 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, and I'm sorry about this
25 JUDGE KWON: Please have a safe journey back home. Thank you.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE KWON: I take it the next witness is ready?
3 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, the next witness is Savo
5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. -- yes, Ms. Edgerton.
6 MS. EDGERTON: I'm sorry, Your Honours. Could we just have your
7 indulgence for a couple of minutes because we actually have to make a big
8 switch of personnel now and Mr. Tieger and Mr. Reid have to move forward.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes. In the meantime I think there's a good timing
10 to raise this issue.
11 Mr. Tieger, during the course of rearranging for the sitting this
12 afternoon, upon the inquiry from the Defence team the Chamber almost
13 released the next witness based upon the time estimate of the Prosecution
14 estimate that it may -- that it would need three hours for the
15 cross-examination of previous witness. But actually the Prosecution
16 spent less than half an hour. So this is a good example of showing how
17 important it is to have an accurate estimate of cross-examination time in
18 terms of smooth scheduling of the -- and conduct of the hearing. And we
19 have observed that the Prosecution has spent in average less than half or
20 one-third of their -- its estimated times. So in the future, please keep
21 an eye so that we can have a very -- an accurate estimate as far as
23 MR. TIEGER: Point taken, Mr. President, and we will certainly do
24 so. Let me note, however, that in some instances it can be a case of --
25 and to the extent there's some criticism, a case of no good deed going
1 unpunished because we are trying to make the examinations as efficient as
2 possible and they sometimes are reduced for that reason, a reason I
3 suspect the Court actually appreciates.
4 JUDGE MORRISON: Speaking for myself, the Court does appreciate
5 it and none of us would want you to extend the cross-examinations simply
6 to fall in line with the estimate. That would be bizarre.
7 JUDGE KWON: Do you like to have a short break?
8 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Mr. President --
9 JUDGE KWON: Five minutes would be okay?
10 MR. TIEGER: Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE KWON: We'll rise for five minutes.
12 --- Break taken at 3.41 p.m.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 --- On resuming at 3.48 p.m.
15 JUDGE KWON: Good afternoon, sir.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
17 JUDGE KWON: Would you take the solemn declaration, please.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
19 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: SAVO SIMIC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. If you could take the seat.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Simic, before you start giving evidence, I would
25 like to draw your attention to a particular rule here at the Tribunal.
1 Under this rule, Rule 90(E), you may object to answering a question from
2 the Prosecution or the accused or even from the Judges if you believe
3 that your answer will incriminate you. When you say "incriminate," I
4 mean that something you say may amount to an admission of your guilt for
5 a criminal offence or could provide evidence that you have committed an
6 offence. However, even if you think your answer will incriminate you and
7 you do not wish to answer the question, the Tribunal has the discretion
8 to oblige you to answer the question. But in such a case, the Tribunal
9 will make sure that your testimony compelled in such a way shall not be
10 used as evidence in other case against you for any offence other than
11 false testimony. Do you understand what I have just told you, sir?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
14 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Simic.
18 A. Good afternoon, Mr. President.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to call up 1D6083 in
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Colonel, did you provide a statement to the Defence team and is
23 that statement in front of you, on the screen now?
24 A. Yes, Mr. President.
25 Q. Thank you. Did you sign the statement?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. I have to remind myself and I have to ask you to pause between
3 questions and answers for the benefit of the interpreters. It will make
4 their lives easier. Is this statement accurate? Does it contain what
5 you had to say?
6 A. Yes, Mr. President.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I tender this statement --
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. If I were to put the same questions to you today in this
11 courtroom, would your answers be the same?
12 A. They would be the same, Mr. President.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excellencies, may I offer the
15 92 ter package into evidence. It contains Colonel Simic's statement and
16 an associated exhibit which is a map and it is an integral part of the
17 Colonel's statement.
18 JUDGE KWON: Was that included in the 65 ter list, Mr. Robinson?
19 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. I'm looking at it right now,
20 but I -- it was on the -- it's on the very beginning of the page. The
21 word "associated exhibits" is at the very bottom of the page and then
22 there it's marked as 1D10033 on the next page.
23 JUDGE KWON: No, I meant its original 65 ter list.
24 MR. ROBINSON: Oh, I see that it was not on the 65 ter list. May
25 we add it to the list?
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, in the future you should -- Mr. Karadzic should
2 have asked --
3 MR. ROBINSON: Yes.
4 JUDGE KWON: -- leave for the addition.
5 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, we apologise for that, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
7 MR. TIEGER: Just a note, I'm not sure Mr. Robinson was looking
8 at that, but the Defence explicitly noted that it wasn't on the 65 ter
9 list in its notification. I think they may have simply forgotten to
10 follow-up on that, but it looks like that was their intention.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Tieger. I take it there's no
12 objection from you?
13 MR. TIEGER: No, Mr. President, there is not.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we receive them.
15 Shall we give the number.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter number 1D6083 will be
17 Exhibit D2412 and 1D10033 will be Exhibit D2413.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would like to read
20 Colonel Simic's summary in English.
21 [In English] Savo Simic joined the active service in the JNA upon
22 completion of the military academy of land army in 1982. He was chief of
23 the artillery of the 1st Sarajevo Mechanised Brigade. From late 1994
24 until the beginning of April 1995 he was commander of the
25 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps' 4th Mixed Anti-Armour Artillery Regiment, and
1 from that date until the end of the war he was a desk officer in the
2 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps command artillery organ.
3 In 1991 they already had knowledge about monitoring activities
4 and typical engineering works for configuring military positions on
5 Mojmilo Brdo as well as about the formation and arming of Muslim
6 paramilitary groups. From mid-1991 JNA forces were facing problems with
7 manning in army personnel. In his unit in the Lukavica barracks there
8 were still officers of all nationalities until March and April 1992, when
9 non-Serbian officers started leaving the unit.
10 The first attack on Lukavica barracks was from Mojmilo Brdo
11 sometime in early April 1992. Men in the mixed artillery division were
12 all people from the local villages who volunteered to join the unit. The
13 large majority of them were not trained for duties on artillery weapons,
14 so the unit was forced to train them for the certain specialties upon
15 their arrival in the unit.
16 From late June 1992, UNPROFOR monitors were deployed to all the
17 artillery positions in the brigade. One monitor and an interpreter spent
18 24 hours at the division command post. They registered every instance of
19 fire being opened and they always knew the type of target, its
20 co-ordinates, and why it was being targeted.
21 The main task of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was to protect
22 Serbian ethnic territories in Sarajevo and its surroundings. The
23 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was mainly engaged in defensive operations. As
24 far as Colonel Savo Simic can recall, the only offensive operation was
25 conducted in 1993, the goal of which was to join the
1 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and the Herzegovina Corps. Apart from this,
2 other offensive actions were carried out to improve the tactical
3 positions of their forces. This was the case of the operations for
4 liberating part of the Vraca-Trebevic road and the attempt to liberate a
5 part of Soping. His unit was commanded by the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps
6 commander and the VRS General Staff several times for its level -- high
7 level of training and skills as well as commendable discipline.
8 The forces of the 1st Corps of the BH army in co-ordinated
9 actions with the forces outside the city tried to break out of Sarajevo
10 throughout the war, which would have greatly affected the other fronts
11 and the general course of the war in BH. They set up large-calibre
12 artillery in the parks and other areas and set up mortars on roof-tops.
13 They also had vehicles with mortars mounted on their cargo platforms
14 which allowed them to change their firing positions quickly. Muslim
15 forces had numerous military targets in civilian zones and engaged in
16 several offensive operations in the period between 1992 and 1995.
17 Neither he nor any members of his unit or superior commands ever
18 had the intention of causing civilian casualties or terrorise civilians
19 under the control of Muslim authorities. In those situations when his
20 unit had to respond to the enemy fire, he would select the most precise
21 weapon in order to avoid civilian casualties.
22 Colonel Savo Simic saw modified air bombs for the first time in
23 the second part of 1994 on the Nisici plateau. These weapons had
24 built-in sighting mechanisms and this made it possible for weapons to be
25 very precise and the crews manning these weapons were well-trained. Air
1 bombs were used because they had them in stock and using them in a
2 standard way they compensated for the lack of the classical artillery
4 Regarding the incident in Vase Miskina Street on
5 27th of May, 1992, in Savo Simic's opinion it is impossible to say with
6 certainty the distance from which the shell was fired. In the Bistrik
7 and Sirokaca sector there were some Muslim mortar firing positions which
8 were used to attack Serbian positions and civilian buildings in Vraca and
9 the Grbavica throughout the war.
10 Regarding incidents in Dobrinja on 12th of July, 1993, and
11 Alipasino Polje 22nd January, 1994, in the opinion of Colonel Savo Simic
12 the shells were fired from the Butmir sector from positions under the
13 control of the Muslim forces.
14 Regarding incident in Oslobodilaca Sarajeva Street in Dobrinja on
15 4th of February, 1994, Colonel Savo Simic states that at that time all
16 artillery weapons of the 1st Sarajevo Mechanised Brigade, including
17 120-millimetre mortars, were under the control of UNPROFOR.
18 Regarding incidents in Safeta Zajke Street and Majdanska Street
19 on 24th of May, 1995, Colonel Savo Simic responsibly claims that not a
20 single modified air bomb was ever launched from the zone of
21 responsibility of the 1st Sarajevo Mechanised Brigade.
22 Regarding incident Markale I in 1994, Colonel Savo Simic states
23 that it is not possible for someone to deliberately fire on the market
24 and hit it in the first attempt. Adjusting fire would be needed.
25 Regarding incident Markale II 1995, Savo Simic states that it is
1 not possible to conduct adjusting fire from one position in order to hit
2 the target from a different position. The adjusting fire has to come
3 from the same position. Therefore, the fifth round in Markale II
4 incident was another first attempt, like Markale I.
5 I don't have any questions at this point in time, but could
6 Colonel Simic be shown his statement in the Serbian language for the
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have that statement with me.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It seems that the Colonel has that
10 statement with him.
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, in cases -- in case of witnesses who
12 were the military officers, I would like to know the ranks during the war
13 time. So could you -- if you could put them in the future in the
14 statement, and could you ask that to the witness.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. We'll do so in future.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Colonel, what was your rank in 1992, 1993, and 1994?
18 A. In 1992 I was a captain first class. I was promoted to the rank
19 of major at the beginning of 1994, in March or April, I believe. And I
20 was a major until the end of the war. After the war I was promoted to
22 Q. Are you still in the military or have you left and what is your
24 A. It was on the 31st of December, 2007, that I retired with the
25 rank of colonel.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope that we have clarified the
3 matter on this occasion.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Karadzic.
5 Yes, Colonel Simic, as you have noted, your evidence in chief was
6 admitted in writing in lieu of your oral testimony. You will now be
7 further cross-examined by the Prosecution. Do you understand that?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE KWON: But given the time, we'll have a break for half an
10 hour and resume at 35 past.
11 --- Recess taken at 4.06 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 4.35 p.m.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
14 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Tieger:
16 Q. Good afternoon, Colonel Simic.
17 A. Good day.
18 Q. I'd like to begin by asking you some questions about how the
19 corps, Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, and your particular brigade as well as
20 the other brigades worked. By the way, sometimes you'll see me pausing.
21 It's because I'm waiting for the translation to conclude and it's worth
22 noting that if either one of us begin speaking too fast the interpreters
23 will have difficulty keeping up. So it's useful to be reminded of that
24 at the outset and perhaps periodically as we go through the examination.
25 First, Colonel, was it required that the brigade submit reports
1 to the corps on a daily basis?
2 A. Yes, it was obligatory to send daily reports to the corps
4 Q. And can you tell us how these reports from the brigades to the
5 corps were compiled, how the brigades got the necessary information and
6 what information it communicated to the corps?
7 A. Given that the brigade's command was located in the vicinity of
8 the corps command, reports were sent by courier. The daily reports
9 contained information on the situation in the battle-field during the day
10 on ongoing activities, on whether attacks had been launched. The reports
11 were compiled on the basis of reports received from subordinate units in
12 the battalion commands. They also included information on whether there
13 were any wounded or any men killed, whether the combat deployment had
14 changed, about problems in the units, about logistics support, requests
15 for fuel, ammunition, and so on and so forth, information on any possible
16 shortcomings. They were the usual kinds of reports.
17 Q. So it would be the case, as I understand it then, that each of
18 the subordinate units within the brigade had an obligation to report
19 relevant information on up to their superiors so that there'd be a flow
20 of information on a daily basis up to the brigade so it could report to
21 the corps?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. During the course of the day, did the brigade also -- did the
24 brigade receive both written reports and oral reports from its
25 subordinate units?
1 A. Yes, it received information. If there was any combat the units
2 would provide the information immediately. If any assistance was
3 required the brigade command would be informed of the situation in the
4 unit's depth and they would also phone and give oral reports. Written
5 reports were also sent. If necessary, interim reports, written reports,
6 could be sent. After the regular daily report had been sent, if there
7 had been any important changes for the period in question, in such cases
8 an interim report would be sent.
9 Q. And within the brigade, who was responsible for receiving and
10 compiling information that would take the form of the report to the corps
11 and who was responsible for authorising or approving the release of that
12 information, that particular information, to the corps command?
13 A. The duty operations officer would compile the report and take it
14 to the brigade commander to sign it. He would be informed of the
15 situation. After the brigade commander had signed the report, the report
16 would then be sent to the corps command. Or if the brigade command was
17 absent, then the officer replacing him would sign it, his deputy, or
18 rather, the Chief of Staff.
19 Q. You mentioned earlier that reports could also be sent after the
20 regular report was sent. Was there a dead-line for the submission of the
21 regular daily report?
22 A. Interim reports would, as a rule, be sent after the regular daily
23 report if necessary. It was necessary to provide the corps command with
24 information, but the daily report had already been sent. It wasn't at a
25 definite point of time because we didn't know when certain things would
1 happen, but if anything happened after the event and after having
2 obtained the information the information would then be sent to the
4 Q. And I'm sorry, that question may have been a bit confusing. Let
5 me -- I wanted to focus on something slightly different. With respect to
6 the interim reports, I presume that that mechanism was available not only
7 for information that the brigade wanted to convey after the regular
8 report, daily report, had been sent, but also if some unusual or
9 extraordinary circumstance arose before the normal time for submission of
10 the daily report; correct?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. And my earlier question was just trying to get an understanding
13 of whether there was a particular dead-line or expected time by which the
14 regular daily report would be sent every day?
15 A. As I have already said, there was a dead-line for sending regular
16 daily reports. They would be sent at a certain time so that the corps
17 command could inform the Main Staff of the situation in its area of
19 Q. And do you recall that time?
20 A. Well, as far as I can remember, it was around 1400 or 1500 hours,
21 but I can't claim that with certainty. So it included information on
22 what had happened since the previous day, the previous report, and up
23 until that point in time. It also depended on what the command thought
24 was necessary and information was sent on that basis.
25 Q. And as you've already alluded to, the corps command would then
1 forward -- would then presumably compile all the relevant information
2 from its brigades and send its own report to the Main Staff?
3 A. That's correct, Mr. Prosecutor.
4 Q. And the Main Staff would then send a report to the supreme
5 commander; is that correct?
6 A. That's correct, sir.
7 Q. Now, that sort of focuses on what would happen during the course
8 of the day and at the end of the day. Were there also regular daily
9 morning briefings about the tasks that were to be undertaken in the field
10 by the subordinate units of the brigade?
11 A. Yes, of course. In the reports information was also provided on
12 the tasks that had been assigned, on how the tasks were being carried
13 out, to what extent they had been carried out, and also problems that had
14 been encountered when carrying out the tasks. Assistance would be
15 requested from the superior command if such assistance was needed.
16 Q. Well, let me focus for a moment on the aftermath of the
17 submission of the reports on a particular day, and let me do that in the
18 context of the corps and what you know about the operations of the
19 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps from your experience. So the next day begins.
20 Was there a regular morning briefing conducted by the corps commander?
21 A. I was in the corps command from April, the beginning of April,
22 1994, until the end of the war; and common practice in all units and in
23 the corps command was to have morning briefings, meetings with the corps
24 command or the Chief of Staff. Tasks would then be assigned. The
25 previous tasks would be analysed, as well as the problems that we faced.
1 So that was common in all units, unless there was ongoing combat or it
2 was impossible for the corps command to meet. In such cases there
3 wouldn't be any such briefings. If the commanders and the Chief of Staff
4 and the assistants were engaged, if they were in the field -- well, then
5 we could meet or we might not be able to meet. But in normal
6 circumstances, we'd meet every morning and the tasks would be assigned or
7 the work carried out on the previous day would be analysed.
8 Q. And periodically, you say every week or two weeks, did the corps
9 commander conduct briefings with the brigade commanders?
10 A. I don't know. I was an official in the artillery and I had my
11 superior officer. That probably was the case, but as to the period
12 concerned I don't know.
13 Q. In addition to the assistant commanders for the various sectors,
14 such as security or logistics or morale, were there also independent
15 units which were actually attached directly to the corps?
16 A. I don't understand the question. Which independent units do you
17 have in mind?
18 Q. Well, for example, as the mixed artillery regiment, the military
19 police, the engineering battalion, and so on, were they directly within
20 the corps?
21 A. You mean independent battalions, independent regiments. These
22 units were independent units within the corps. They had their commander,
23 their own establishment, and they reported directly to the commander.
24 Q. Now, the assistant commanders also reported directly to the
25 commander, as you've already indicated; correct?
1 A. Assistant commanders in a given area, professional area, that
2 they were involved in would report on problems from their domain. The
3 chief of engineers would report on issues that concerned him. The chief
4 of artillery would report on his domain. The chief for logistics would
5 report on his own area. They would inform the commander of any matters
6 that were relevant and that he should be informed of. They tried to find
7 solutions for certain problems, if there were any problems, and they
8 tried to reach agreement on the activities that were to be pursued in the
10 Q. With respect to the assistant commanders - and let me use one
11 assistant commander for the moment as an example - the assistant
12 commander for security and intelligence, did that assistant also have a
13 counterpart at the Main Staff level?
14 A. He certainly did, but I'm not familiar with such things, with
15 security and intelligence and the chain of command. He probably had a
16 superior officer in the Main Staff. As to how they submitted reports, I
17 don't know anything about that.
18 Q. Then let's -- let me focus then on your particular area, and that
19 is artillery. Did -- in addition to reporting to the corps commander --
20 well, did the chief of artillery for the corps also report to his
21 counterpart in the Main Staff or was there -- first of all, was there a
22 counterpart for the chief of artillery in the Main Staff, do you know?
23 A. Yes, there was.
24 Q. And so the -- and so my question then is: Did -- in addition to
25 reporting, as you've described to the corps commander, did the chief of
1 artillery for the corps also have a reporting channel and some level of
2 subordination to the chief of artillery for the Main Staff?
3 A. He didn't submit any written reports. If it was necessary to
4 report orally, he'd phone. If necessary, perhaps he wrote certain
5 written requests or reports, but I'm not aware of that. But on the whole
6 he reported orally. It wasn't his duty to write regular reports, written
7 reports. This was done through the regular reports that were sent every
9 Q. And let me focus for a moment then on your own particular
10 reporting obligations and superior/subordinate relationships in the roles
11 that you've described in your statement. During the period of time you
12 were chief of artillery in the 1st Sarajevo Mechanised Brigade, to whom
13 did you report?
14 A. I was a member of the brigade command. I personally didn't send
15 reports. The command of the mixed artillery division did that. I was a
16 member of the brigade. Circumstances would have it - as the President
17 said in the summary - there was a problem when the unit was being brought
18 up to strength with volunteers. At the beginning of the war, most of
19 them, 90 per cent of them, weren’t from the artillery and I as the only
20 professional -- or one of the few professional officers at the time when
21 the Army of Yugoslavia left the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I
22 remained at the command post in that division in order to provide
23 assistance with making the members of the unit professionals, turning
24 them into professionals, training them. I remained there at that command
25 post until the end of December, November or December, 1993, I believe.
1 And as for the reports sent -- it was the command of the division who
2 sent them to the command of the brigade. There wasn't a great distance
3 between the command posts, so couriers were used to send reports and
4 contact was established on a daily basis over the phone, and all
5 important issues were discussed on such occasions.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise. In the transcript the
7 witness said that 90 per cent of them did not have a military
8 establishment position. Here it sounds as if they came from the
9 artillery. So this has been wrongly interpreted and recorded.
10 JUDGE KWON: Very well. I'll ask the CLSS to take a look at
12 Mr. Tieger, if I can interrupt this moment. You dealt with the
13 role or the position of chief of artillery.
14 Let's take the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, Mr. Simic, there was a
15 chief of artillery in the SRK, wasn't there?
16 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer.
18 JUDGE KWON: Could your repeat your answer.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct, Your Honour.
20 There was a chief of the artillery in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
21 JUDGE KWON: And he was a member of the staff of the corps;
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
24 JUDGE KWON: However, in case of chief of security, he's an
25 assistant commander for security. Is he also a member of the staff?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The assistant commander for
2 security was the assistant commander, not in the staff. He was the
3 assistant to the commander. He was directly under the commander,
4 subordinated to the commander.
5 JUDGE KWON: So could you -- in the Sarajevo Corps there's two
6 artillery regiment, one the mixed artillery regiment and the mixed
7 anti-armour artillery regiment. Am I correct in so understanding?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, your understanding is good.
9 JUDGE KWON: Could you explain to us the relation between the
10 commanders of those two regiments, the chief of artillery and the corps
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The regiment commanders along the
13 command lines were directly subordinated to the corps command. In
14 professional terms they were subordinated to the chief of artillery in
15 the corps. In other words, the chief of artillery is the professional
16 body in the corps command when it comes to artillery.
17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. So the regiment -- those regiment
18 commanders will report directly to the corps commander, but at the same
19 time they'll make a professional report to the chief of artillery; am I
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they were in communication
22 with the chief of artillery. In terms of professional issues, they took
23 advice from him. They consulted with him on all those important issues
24 pertaining to the area of artillery.
25 JUDGE KWON: Can I know the ranks at the time of the chief of
1 artillery as well as the commanders of those two regiments, as far as you
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The chief of artillery -- at first,
4 at the beginning of the war, all three of them were lieutenant-colonels.
5 The chief of artillery in the corps, the regiment commanders, and
6 sometime during the war - I don't know when exactly - they were promoted
7 to the ranks of colonels.
8 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
9 Back to you, Mr. Tieger.
10 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Let me follow-up on some of those questions, Colonel Simic. As
12 chief of artillery in the 1st Mechanised Brigade, what were your general
13 responsibilities? I know you already alluded to some of them in your
14 previous answer, but I'd like to know your formal responsibilities as
15 chief of artillery.
16 A. First and foremost, I was supposed to take care of the
17 professional training of the unit for combat tasks. I was not in charge
18 of discipline. It was the battalion commander who was in charge of that
19 and his subordinated commanders were -- reported to him on that. If
20 there was any free time and there was no combat, I organised training so
21 that my unit members were always active, they were always involved in
22 training unless there was combat going on. My other tasks were to inform
23 the brigade commander about the professional capabilities of the unit,
24 the problems of logistics support - if there were any - in terms of
25 artillery so as to make sure that the unit was at all times capable of
1 performing its tasks. When it come to the issues of morale, discipline,
2 and the situation in the unit, it was the commander of the battalion who
3 was in charge of that and he was the one who reported on those issues.
4 That would be in a nutshell. And moreover, in the brigade command I also
5 provided my input on the use of artillery; i.e., I provided my proposal
6 to the brigade commander. And the brigade commander at the end of the
7 day decided whether to accept my proposals or not, or perhaps he had his
8 own suggestions and he would issue orders as to how to place the
9 artillery, how to deploy the assets. And then the orders were carried
11 If a combat order was being drafted, I provided my input for the
12 artillery use, both verbally and graphically, using a map.
13 Q. And based on that input, assuming it was accepted, it would then
14 be the commander who would issue the order to the subordinate units to --
15 for artillery use?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. You alluded to your involvement in training unless there was
18 combat going on. What was your role during combat?
19 A. My role in combat was as follows: I was at the observation post
20 together with the brigade commander in most cases, or I had my own
21 observation post but then I was in direct communication with him. The
22 brigade commander issued orders from the scene and I was briefed and
23 updated on the situation in the zone of responsibility and about possible
24 problems on various axes within the zone of our responsibility of the
25 brigade in order to be able to react in due time when it came to the use
1 of artillery.
2 Q. And to what extent and how did your role change when you became a
3 commander of the mixed anti-armour artillery regiment?
4 A. The role changed insofar that I was subordinated to the corps
5 commander. I was no longer a member of the brigade. I reported directly
6 to the corps commander. During the period that I spent in the
7 mixed anti-armour artillery regiment, there were no missions. There was
8 no combat. No fire was opened from our positions. Therefore, I spent
9 most of my time at the observation post on the positions where it was
10 necessary, mostly at Nisic plateau and Trnovo, which is where Muslim
11 forces from Sarajevo in concert with units from elsewhere tried to
12 breakthrough our lines. This is where I extended assistance to the
13 brigade commanders pursuant to the orders of the corps commander. And
14 very often, if not always, the corps commander was also there in the
15 places where it was most -- where his presence was most necessary.
16 Q. With respect to an artillery fire plan, you spoke earlier of your
17 input to the brigade commander. In connection with that same issue as
18 commander of the mixed anti-armour artillery regiment, what was your role
19 or what was your anticipated role in the -- in devising artillery plans?
20 A. My role was to act with the chief of artillery and to draft
21 plans, but we didn't do that because it was not necessary because
22 anti-armour regiment was not used, there was no need for its use, which
23 is why my chief of artillery engaged it on those axes where it was more
24 necessary to extend assistance to the brigades when it came to the
25 stopping of breakthroughs and incursions and attacks of the enemy side.
1 Q. And now focusing on the period from April 1995 when you --
2 JUDGE KWON: Just one clarification, Mr. Tieger, sorry.
3 Who did you refer to when you said "my chief of artillery"?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant my superior, the chief of
5 artillery from the corps command.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
7 MR. TIEGER:
8 Q. I indicated I wanted now to focus on the third role that you
9 identified in your statement and that was, as indicated in the statement,
10 from April 1995 until the end of the war when you were - it says in your
11 statement - a desk officer in the SRK command artillery organ. What were
12 your responsibilities as -- in this position?
13 A. I was assistant commander of artillery. I was his desk officer
14 and I carried out his orders and his tasks concerning artillery.
15 Q. And what did that involve in terms of your -- both your daily
16 role in either receiving information from subordinate units, drafting
17 plans, and so on? And then I want to ask you after that what it involved
18 in terms of specific operations that were envisioned or carried out?
19 A. Together with the chief of artillery, I worked on the plan of use
20 of artillery. The chief of artillery made proposals; I assisted him. He
21 would draw the plan of action on the map. And pursuant to the order of
22 the corps commander, we would do excerpts from that plan. That's when it
23 came to combat. And pursuant to the orders of the chief of artillery, if
24 he would send me to one of the corps units, I would go, inspect, and
25 extend assistance if I encountered any problems. I carried out his tasks
1 and orders in that sense.
2 Q. How extensive was this reach-out to the subordinate commands,
3 that is, going into the field to find out what the subordinate
4 commands -- the subordinate units were doing, whether they had any
5 problems, the extent to which they were implementing their tasks, and so
6 on? How frequent was that? How regular? And who was involved in that?
7 A. When I was sent to forward command post of the corps from my
8 observation post, I would communicate with the units in that area of
9 responsibility, on that axis. However, at that same time I was also in
10 communication with other units if they needed me, with the units that
11 were not on that axis. However, my main task for which I was actually
12 sent out was at the forward command post where I acted in concert with
13 the chief of artillery and I assisted him with the use of artillery.
14 Q. Did the chief of artillery also go into the field and make direct
15 contact with subordinate units to identify problems, check on
16 implementation for all the issues that such contact might assist on?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I correct the transcript. A
18 very important element has not been recorded in the previous answer. The
19 witness said that he observed the actions of the artillery on that
20 particular axis.
21 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Simic, do you confirm that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
23 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
24 Let's continue.
25 MR. TIEGER:
1 Q. I had just asked you about the efforts of the chief of artillery
2 in connection with going into the field, making direct contact with
3 subordinate units to identify any problems, the extent of implementation
4 of tasks, and so on.
5 A. At the forward command post we met with our artillery units,
6 i.e., with the commanders on the axis where action was going on. We
7 organised the use of artillery, we chose firing position, we decided how
8 fire would be opened, and we observed artillery actions and we assisted
9 artillery commanders in the performance of their combat tasks and orders.
10 Likewise, if I may, we also observed and monitored the activity of the
11 enemy artillery. We tried to establish their firing positions, to
12 determine where they were firing from, and we provided information if we
13 had them before the battery commanders where those firing positions were,
14 and we gave them the tasks to neutralise the enemy artillery in those
16 Q. And I asked you about the chief of artillery. I should ask you
17 this question as well: Did the corps commander also go into the field
18 for the purpose of determining the extent to which orders were being
19 implemented, tasks were being achieved, problems may have existed, and so
21 A. The zone of responsibility of the corps was extensive, it was
22 large, and the corps commander would be where he was most needed. He was
23 not there permanently, but he toured the theatre of war and he was kept
24 well abreast of the situation in that area.
25 Q. Now, in connection with your activities with the mechanised
1 brigade, that is, the period of time when you were chief of artillery for
2 the mechanised brigade, I think you referred in paragraph 19 of your
3 statement to the fact that the unit was -- it says -- well, I may
4 actually see if there's a small language correction needed. It says:
5 "The unit was commanded," it says in English, "commanded by the
6 SRK commander and the VRS Main Staff several times for its high level of
7 training and skill and commendable discipline."
8 I read that as probably actually saying that the unit was
9 commended by the SRK commander and the VRS Main Staff, and I wanted to
10 know if that's accurate or not? Again, that's paragraph 19.
11 A. Well, it does say that the unit was commended for the high level
12 of training, high level of discipline, and so on and so forth, by the
13 commander of the SRK and the Main Staff and the brigade command, of
14 course. The brigade command and the brigade commander have been omitted
15 from the group, but they also commended the unit.
16 Q. Thanks for that clarification. There's a one-letter difference
17 in the translation in English that changes it from the word "commended"
18 to the word "commanded," and that's what I wanted to clarify.
19 That would seem to suggest by its emphasis on the high level of
20 training and discipline and so on that the unit or at least the
21 commanders of the unit were not themselves reprimanded or disciplined or
22 punished for any of their activities during the course of the period you
23 were there; is that correct?
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to come
25 closer to the microphone. Thank you.
1 MR. TIEGER:
2 Q. The interpreters are asking if you can sit a little closer to the
3 microphone so they can hear you more easily.
4 A. There was no need to reprimand anybody or punish them because
5 there was no lack of discipline. There were some minor problems like in
6 any other unit or in any other institution where you work with people,
7 but none of them mandated graver sentences or a more serious reprimand.
8 Q. And to the extent you know it by virtue of your experience there,
9 was that a remarkable situation for the brigades or was that situation,
10 as you understood it, basically mirrored in the rest of the brigades?
11 A. I wouldn't be able to say anything about any of the other
12 brigades. I don't know anything about them or about any other units of
13 the 1st Sarajevo Mechanised Brigade. I don't know what the situation was
14 there. I know about things that I was responsible for. I was not
15 responsible for discipline, but I was concerned with that. Because for a
16 unit to be superbly trained it had to show a certain level of discipline.
17 I insisted on that from the beginning of the war, I cared about that; and
18 finally it paid because we were prepared to perform all the tasks given
19 to us.
20 Q. And when you got to the corps command it seemed -- I take it --
21 well, when you got to the corps command did you learn anything to the
22 contrary about the other brigades, or as far as you knew at that time
23 their performance was also deemed commendable or at least sufficiently
25 A. I'm sure that there were commendations. I'm sure that all units
1 of the SRK were serious. They performed serious tasks. They held very
2 important positions. One can conclude that. I can't remember whether
3 there were any commendations or not, but it can be concluded based on the
4 actions of those units and soldiers what their dedication was and all the
5 officers starting with the brigade commander to the last foot soldier,
6 when the situation was serious and dangerous, when they were on their
7 positions during combat, they proved their medals. So one can conclude
8 that the situation on all units was good.
9 Q. Let me turn, if I may, to a few different matters raised in your
10 statement. First I noted that at paragraphs I think 4 through 7 you make
11 some references to the difficulties that the JNA was having roughly from
12 mid-1991 on with respect to maintaining personnel. And in paragraph 5
13 you attribute that to the recommendation -- or at least you attribute
14 that in seemingly large part to the recommendation of the Muslim
15 political leadership. And then you go on to describe the -- to some
16 extent the pattern of departure of first, the recruits, and then the
17 officers. Now, of course you were aware that at that time the JNA was
18 involved in the or in Croatia; right?
19 A. Yes, I knew that.
20 Q. And I presume you were aware at that time that this was a war
21 about which many non-Serbs believed that the JNA had taken the side of
22 Serbs against Croats in a quite bloody campaign involving attacks on
23 Croats and Croat civilians?
24 A. The JNA did not take sides. In Slovenia and in Croatia the JNA
25 tried --
1 Q. No, I -- I think the Court will appreciate if I make clear that
2 I'm not inviting you to explain your view of the JNA's position in that.
3 My question was slightly different and that is whether you were aware
4 that many non-Serbs believed that the JNA had taken sides and that the
5 JNA was engaged in ethnic cleansing in Croatia?
6 A. My opinion - and I stand by it - is that the JNA did not
7 participate in cleansing -- in ethnic cleansing. Up to the last moment,
8 members of the JNA believed that there would be no war, that war would be
9 stopped; however, their political leadership decided differently. And
10 then under pressure they left the JNA, and obviously recruits and
11 soldiers left units, and as soon as they did that sometimes they were
12 even let go of their own will. But there were also those who remained
13 because they believed in the JNA. They believed in the officers who were
14 in charge, who were in command.
15 Q. Colonel, I understood from your statement your history with the
16 JNA and I was not asking you to offer an opinion of your own against the
17 JNA. But let's -- let me just be plain with you. It's got to be true,
18 isn't it, that you knew about the views that many, many - if not the vast
19 majority of Serbs --
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Is this permissible? Can this be
22 MR. TIEGER: I believe, Mr. President, I am entitled to ask
23 leading questions and that's precisely what I'm doing. And I am a little
24 surprised about the intervention. I thought the accused was aware of
1 JUDGE BAIRD: What was the ground of your objection,
2 Mr. Karadzic?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My objection had nothing to do with
4 leading questions, but the witness is being asked to speculate about what
5 other people thought or believed.
6 JUDGE KWON: No, the answer -- the witness can -- the way he can
7 answer to the question is yes or no. If he wasn't aware, he can say that
8 he didn't know. Mr. Tieger was not asking the witness to speculate.
9 JUDGE BAIRD: Actually, I think the difficulty arose in that,
10 Mr. Tieger, you weren't finished with your question, were you?
11 MR. TIEGER: I wasn't.
12 JUDGE BAIRD: Perhaps you can hear the question in its entirety.
13 MR. TIEGER: Okay. I -- thank you, thank you, Judge.
14 Q. Witness, I'm just trying to ask you a fairly straightforward
15 question, but I'm kind of putting it in the form of a statement to which
16 you can agree or not agree. You were aware, weren't you, that many, many
17 non-Serbs, if not the vast majority of non-Serbs, were opposed to the war
18 in Croatia and believed that the JNA had taken sides and that the JNA was
19 engaged in a bloody campaign against Croats and they had those objections
20 to the war?
21 A. I know how the war unfolded in the territory of the former
22 Yugoslavia, how it started. I also know members of other ethnicities who
23 were part of my unit. Before the war when all had started in Croatia, I
24 went from the garrison I was in, in Kiseljak, I was driven by a soldier,
25 a Croat, who was providing security -- there was a policeman who was
1 providing security, he was a Croat. And the unit was taken from one
2 garrison to another, I went through Vinkovci, through Croatian
3 settlements, and I trusted those soldiers and they trusted me. So as far
4 as members of the military are concerned, well they are the persons I can
5 discuss. Until the very last moment, they believed that the political
6 leadership of those republics would reach an agreement, that they would
7 make sure that there wouldn't be a war, and this is shown by the fact
8 that many Croatian officers, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Hungarians were
9 in the VRS and remained in the VRS until the end of the war. They did
10 not leave it. And they had certain convictions. The JNA didn't take
11 anyone's side. It strove to put an end to a bloody conflict; however,
12 this did not suit everyone and what happened happened. And then it seems
13 as if it's the GNA that took somebody's side. The JNA didn't have the
14 intention of taking anyone's side. And as I said in my statement, the
15 first attack was carried out from Mojmilo hill. It's item 8 of this
16 statement --
17 Q. Sorry, let me stop you. Normally I don't want to interrupt you
18 but I think we're a little bit far afield. Let me ask you this question:
19 Is it your testimony to this Court that the war in Croatia and the
20 attitude of non-Serbs concerning that war did not play any significant
21 role in the personnel problems that the JNA had from mid-1991 onwards?
22 A. The war in Croatia certainly started earlier on and the -- and
23 recruits from the area of Croatia stopped joining units. Members of
24 Croatian ethnicity in Bosnia, there were still Muslims, or rather, there
25 were members of Muslim ethnicity in the units, but they were under
1 constant pressure from the political leadership; and as a result, they
2 stopped sending them to regular JNA units. Subsequently as we were faced
3 with the problem of bringing units up to strength we started calling on
4 the reserve forces; and in that case, Muslims from the reserve forces did
5 not respond to the call-up.
6 Q. Let me move on to a related issue then. At paragraph 7 you
7 relate an incident involving a Muslim non-commissioned officer who loaded
8 up a truck and took weapons which were handed over to the Muslims, you
9 say in the statement. Were you aware that in that general time-period,
10 that is, the end of 1991 toward the first half of 1992 or the first
11 quarter of 1992, that the JNA was providing -- JNA and the SDS were
12 providing weapons to Serbs?
13 A. I wasn't aware of that. All I know is that we issued weapons to
14 the reserve forces that responded to the call-up to join units. We
15 issued weapons to them and that reserve force was under the command of
16 the JNA unit they had been deployed in. That was also the case for
17 volunteers who joined up after the war had already broken out.
18 Q. Do you know how many Serbs received weapons from the JNA or the
19 SDS, that is Serbs who were not part of the JNA or the TO structure?
20 A. I don't know. All I know is that at the time when the war had
21 already broken out I was a battery commander and I brought my unit up to
22 strength with 30 or 40 men. I couldn't say exactly how many of them
23 there were at the point -- at that point in time. These units were
24 brought up to strength. First we called on the reserve forces, but since
25 the process had been disrupted because the Muslims weren't coming and the
1 war had broken out, we sought volunteers and brought the unit up to
2 strength in that manner. We did that intensely when the JNA left the
3 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the 19th of May. And my unit,
4 all my members, were issued weapons by me from the war time reserves that
5 were intended for reserve units, but I'm not aware of what the situation
6 was in the case of others.
7 Q. I want to turn to page 14 of your -- paragraph 14, rather, of
8 your statement. And there you say:
9 "As far as I know, the SRK was surrounded doubly, internally and
11 And I wanted to look at a map and see if I could understand
12 better what you meant by the claim that the -- it was the SRK which was
14 MR. TIEGER: So if I could call up P01021, please. And if we
15 could zoom in a bit on the circle to the left, and perhaps a bit more and
16 stop us when ... all right.
17 Q. Colonel, can you see that with sufficient clarity to make it out?
18 A. Well, it's not on a very large scale, but I can see where these
19 various units are deployed.
20 Q. Okay. And does that circle represent the zone of responsibility
21 of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And do we see the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps off
24 to the right?
25 A. Yes, you can see it to a certain extent in the right lower
1 corner. But if that's the area of responsibility, but I don't think it
2 is. I can't see these features on the map.
3 Q. Okay. Well, just tell us as you understand it what the dotted --
4 A. Yes, I can see it. I'm sorry.
5 Q. Can you tell us, as you understand it, what the dotted blue line
6 represents and the dotted red lines and in what sense they indicate that
7 the SRK is surrounded internally and externally?
8 A. The blue dotted line is in the defence line of the Muslim enemy
9 forces. The dotted red line is the front line of defence of the VRS, the
10 Army of Republika Srpska. It's quite clear here that everyone was
11 encircling everyone else, or rather, everyone was semi-encircled. It
12 wasn't a standard encirclement. You can see behind the rear of the
13 1st Sarajevo Romanija Brigade that you have enemy forces. That axis in
14 the direction of Pale and Vlasenica was open, so there was a sort of
15 semi-encirclement there, but I won't even mention troops at the front
16 line who were under fire from their flank, from behind, from the front.
17 These are members of the VRS that I'm referring to. So this quite
18 clearly shows the situation. I don't know what isn't clear. When it
19 comes to the encirclement that I'm talking about, it's not a standard
20 type of encirclement, it's a semi-encirclement.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript 62, line 12, the witness
22 said the forward line of defence, not the front line, the forward line of
23 defence of the Serbian forces, the Muslim forces.
24 MR. TIEGER:
25 Q. Colonel, isn't it a fact that the SRK and the VRS considered
1 that -- considered the encirclement or the blockade of Sarajevo to be
2 extremely important and that emphasised its maintenance throughout the
3 course of the war?
4 A. It was extremely important not to allow the forces of the
5 1st Corps of the ABiH to break through our lines and get out of those
6 positions because they were numerically stronger in terms of troops. So
7 the forces of the 1st Corps would have certainly deployed in other
8 battle-fields with disastrous consequences not only for the SRK but also
9 for Republika Srpska as a whole.
10 Q. Let me be clear on the question. I presume --
11 JUDGE KWON: Can I interrupt?
12 MR. TIEGER: Yes, please.
13 JUDGE KWON: First thing, is there a difference, Mr. Simic,
14 between the front line of defence and the forward line of defence?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The forward line of defence
16 concerns units in contact with our forces, with enemy forces. These are
17 units that are in contact. The forward lines of defence in the depth,
18 for example, might mean that only certain positions had been reached.
19 JUDGE KWON: And front line of defence, if such a term exists at
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could I assist?
22 JUDGE KWON: You are not giving evidence, Mr. Karadzic. And if
23 it is not that critical, let's proceed.
24 But since it's raised I'm going to clarify with the witness.
25 Yes, what's the front line of defence?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The front line of defence concerns
2 the positions of our units in contact, in immediate contact, with enemy
4 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure I'm following the difference. But in
5 any event, I'll leave it at that.
6 Shall we give the witness a pen to mark on this map?
7 Could you circle the area when you refer to the internal
8 encirclement of the Serb forces by the Bosnian forces so that we can
9 understand. The area that you referred to as the internally encircled
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see the area here, the
12 Ilidza Brigade, which is here, that's what this means. It's encircled on
13 three sides and there was an opening here for the unit. This area was
14 free in the depth, and you can see that they're in contact here with
15 Miljacka, although the scale of the map is very small, I couldn't tell
16 you which sector this is in. This area here is also encircled, as you
17 can see, as the scale is very small here and it's difficult to make
18 precise markings.
19 JUDGE KWON: Let's ignore the current markings. Can we zoom in a
20 bit further. Once again. Yes.
21 Could you circle again the part which you referred to as
22 internally encircled area.
23 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
24 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Then let's change the colour into blue
25 and could you circle the areas which you referred to as externally
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is at the rear. There were
3 the HVO units and the Muslim units in the direction of Kiseljak in the
4 rear, in the direction of Kresevo further on towards Visoko. You can see
5 that the blue line is behind the red one. Our forces are here and Muslim
6 forces are here. And down there you have Muslim forces and our forces
7 again. So this is the internal encirclement and this is the external
8 one, and that was also the case for Trnovo until it was liberated and so
9 on and so forth.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Could you put the today's date, which is
11 8th of November, and your signature.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the map?
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
14 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
15 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tieger, you wouldn't mind that we treat this as
16 next Prosecution exhibit?
17 MR. TIEGER: That's fine, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P5978, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Tieger.
21 MR. TIEGER:
22 Q. Colonel, notwithstanding these areas that you've pointed out, the
23 fact is, is it not, that the VRS considered that it had Sarajevo
24 encircled and under blockade and constantly emphasised the need to
25 maintain that, yes or no?
1 A. The VRS knew that if the 1st Corps broke through in co-operation
2 with other units, if they broke through from the encirclement, 80.000 to
3 100.000 men would be liberated and put to use on other battle-fields and
4 that would have had disastrous consequences. The Sarajevo Corps might
5 have disappeared -- maybe not, but there would have been a problem with
6 Republika Srpska and who knows where it would have ended. In the course
7 of the entire war the lines weren't moved. The forward line of defence
8 wasn't moved. It was the case that there were movements in certain
9 cases, and in the course of the offensives launched by the Muslim
10 forces --
11 Q. Sorry, let me -- obviously the answer will not be yes or no so
12 let me just show you a few documents and ask the question again.
13 MR. TIEGER: Can I have D00235, please, and page 3 of the English
14 and can we go to page 2 of the B/C/S. I need page 3 of the English,
15 please. And also page 3 of the B/C/S, please. Okay, it's page 4 -- I'm
16 sorry, I wasn't counting that first correction page, if we can move one
17 page forward for each one.
18 Under "operation objectives" we see for this directive, directive
19 for further operations number 3:
20 "Prevent the breaking of the blockade of Sarajevo ..."
21 And then a few lines down:
22 "Keep Sarajevo firmly under blockade and prevent its breaking."
23 If we can go to 65 ter 11639, page 2, please, of that document.
24 One more -- that's right.
25 And there we see:
1 "Persistent and active defence shall prevent the breaking of the
2 blockade of Sarajevo ..."
3 And it goes on to note:
4 "... while offensive operations shall ensure the liberation of
5 road communications."
6 65 ter 23834, please. Page 2, please. Item number 8 -- it's
7 still page 1 of the B/C/S, I'm sorry.
8 Item number 8:
9 "Fortify positions around Sarajevo by erecting wire and concrete
10 barriers, which would in turn strengthen the belief that they really are
11 blocked ('in a camp')."
12 And finally P1041, page 2. And page 2 of the B/C/S as well.
13 This is General Mladic speaking:
14 "We have the means and the bridges with which to cross the river.
15 I have blocked Sarajevo from four corners. The city is trapped. There
16 is no way out."
17 Q. Colonel, I could show other documents, but isn't it the case that
18 contrary to the suggestion in your statement that it was the VRS or the
19 SRK that was surrounded, that the SRK had Sarajevo encircled, blockaded,
20 and made every effort to maintain that during the course of the war?
21 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I have showed you the lines where the VRS units
22 were, where they were encircled, or where they had been semi-encircled,
23 and I showed you the internal and external ring -- were encirclement. I
24 know that area and that part of Sarajevo very well. And the SRK command
25 and if the Main Staff command had ordered someone to let those forces
1 leave, those positions were also defended by inhabitants in the
2 settlements around Sarajevo. So I don't think that anyone would have
3 carried out such an order because what does it mean to leave the entire
4 area, to have significant casualties --
5 Q. Excuse me for interrupting you -- excuse me for interrupting you,
6 but that is not an answer to my question.
7 A. Could you repeat your question again.
8 Q. Yes. Isn't it the case, isn't the reality, that contrary to the
9 suggestion in your statement that it was the SRK that was surrounded,
10 that in fact it was the SRK that surrounded Sarajevo, that blockaded
11 Sarajevo, that was known to and emphasised by the Main Staff, and every
12 effort was made to maintain that position during the course of the war?
13 A. It's quite clear that the SRK was encircled as well as the Muslim
14 forces. The area of Sarajevo had an exit in a certain sense and you can
15 see that in the map. It's quite clear why the command of the Main Staff
16 and the corps command issued the orders that they issued; and even if
17 they hadn't issued those orders, a decisive defence would have been
18 mounted and the very last soldier would have put up resistance. It
19 wasn't -- it was the inhabitants of the surrounding settlements who
20 defended their houses, their villages, and they were prepared to defend
21 it. They knew what the consequences were. It wasn't just people who had
22 been brought in from the outside.
23 JUDGE KWON: It's time to adjourn, but let's put it simple,
24 Mr. Simic. You said "SRK was encircled as well," so you wouldn't deny
25 the ABiH inside the Sarajevo city was also encircled by the SRK?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the beginning I said that
2 everyone had -- everyone else in an encirclement, everyone was encircled.
3 What does that mean -- or rather, there was a semi-encirclement.
4 JUDGE KWON: So let's leave it at that and we'll continue
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A correction in the transcript,
7 please, if I may. The witness said in the previous answer that it was
8 not the army that was brought from elsewhere and those people did very
9 much care whether something would be lost or not, whether an area would
10 fall or not. And also, the witness confirmed His Excellency Kwon's
11 position, he said: Yes, that was that.
12 JUDGE KWON: Do you confirm that, Mr. Simic?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. We'll continue tomorrow at 9.00 -- no,
15 not tomorrow. Monday next week.
16 MR. TIEGER: Before we rise, Mr. President, I wanted to tender
17 11639 and 23834.
18 JUDGE KWON: No objections?
19 MR. ROBINSON: No objection, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE KWON: That will be admitted.
21 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President --
22 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter number 11639 will be
24 Exhibit D5979 and 65 ter number 23834 will be Exhibit P5980.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
1 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, it would be helpful if you
2 could advise the witness that he's not to discuss his testimony during
3 the break.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
5 Mr. Simic, you are not supposed to discuss with anybody else
6 about your testimony. Probably you are aware of this, but do you
7 understand that, sir?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, yes.
9 JUDGE KWON: And in the meantime I hope the technical
10 difficulties will be resolved by that time.
11 Have a nice weekend.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.04 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Monday, the 12th day of
14 November, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.